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The Mandarin Mystery

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The Mandarin Mystery

Published 1936
Topics Comedy, Mystery

This adaptation of an Ellery Queen mystery concerns the theft of a rare Chinese stamp (the Mandarin of the title), which takes place in a hotel with several shifty characters and an hysterical manager (the priceless Franklin Pangborn).
The mystery, such as it is, concerns both the stamp theft and two murders, and shows Ellery and his father the Inspector as a team rubbing together just enough to solve the case.

Run time 53 min.
Producer Nat Levine, Victor Zobel
Production Company Republic Pictures
Audio/Visual sound, black & white
Contact Information


Reviewer: tbragg - favorite - March 8, 2017
Subject: Thinks it is cuter than it is
Annoying lead character, intrusive music, dull mystery = a tedious piece.
Reviewer: ClassicFilmFan - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 4, 2013
Subject: It is cute and light, but it isn't an amazing film.
When I read the other reviews before watching it, I thought maybe they were being a bit harsh. After watching it, I realize they were not unreasonable. It is a watch-able film. It's fairly entertaining. However, I was bored often during those 50-some minutes. The music (mostly at the beginning of the film) is grating. The acting isn't the best, but was okay. If you've watched any small-town productions of plays, the acting is of about the same quality - meaning its enjoyable enough. The film is worth watching once if you need something fluffy and light to pass time, but definitely not something that most people would watch twice.
Reviewer: katperrr - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 14, 2013
Subject: E Queen
Reviewer: picfixer - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 31, 2010
Subject: Let's Get All the Suspects in One Room
I liked this light-hearted who-done-it more the second time I watched it. Murder in a locked room and the theft of a fabulously valuable stamp thrust Ellery Queen and his police inspector father onto the scene. The young Ellery is played by Eddie Quillan, supported by an able cast that includes the eternal hotel manager, Franklin Pangborn. The mystery element works, but the complicated explanation of how the deed was done is really farfetched. (Something that Agatha Christi was also guilty of on occasion.) However, this was what '30s audiences expected and enjoyed, in the same way more recent audiences got a kick out of MacGyver's impossible exploits. If you like murder mysteries and shaggy-dog stories, this one will keep you entertained for an hour.
Reviewer: Albert Schlef - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 17, 2009
Subject: Well
This movie is . skippableIt isn't bad, but it isn't among the bestest movies.
Reviewer: Aitchondo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 5, 2009
Subject: I liked it.
I liked it, despite the music. It wasn't bad, just not good and a little to loud at times. Just to pass the time, a cute movie.
Reviewer: flickfdude - - February 5, 2009
Subject: slow download
The Divx AVI was coming across at phone line speeds.
The on-site player stopped and started a million times before the credits were over. I never actually saw it.
Reviewer: billbarstad - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 4, 2009
Subject: 1930s Silly Mystery
The most enjoyable aspect of this movie is the interplay between Ellery Queen and Charlotte Temple, the owner of the Mandarin stamp. The worst is the music. The story is a clunker. I found myself getting anxious for the end, and it's only 53 minutes long.

I downloaded the DivX file, which has actually been encoded as a mpeg-4 with mp3 audio. There are some missing frames and some wow in the audio, but it's otherwise OK.
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